January|February Alumni Authors

ShootingSlingingShooting Arrows & Slinging Mud: Custer, the Press, and Little Bighorn

By James E. Mueller, PhD ’98

A journalism professor at the University of North Texas, Mueller is drawn to the relationship between public figures and the media. He’s previously written books on how the Clinton and Bush families handle the press, and now he applies that same critical lens to Gen. George Armstrong Custer—specifically, how reporters covered the Battle of Little Bighorn. The result is a thoughtful book that sheds light on the media’s role in shaping history.





TexTEX: The Father of Texas Swimming

By Ross Lucksinger, BJ ’06, Life Member

This is a lively, thoroughly researched biography of UT’s first swimming coach, Tex Robertson. He’s most often credited as the inventor of the flip turn—now used by swimmers everywhere—but in this book Robertson comes alive as a man who left his mark on the University in myriad ways, from laying the foundation for a powerhouse swimming program to founding Camp Longhorn in Burnet.





Hero_of_San_JacThe Hero of San Jacinto

By Boyd Taylor, BA ’52, LLB ’55, Life Member

Set in modern-day Austin, this book introduces an amateur historian named Donnie Ray Cuinn, who finds a mysterious letter in the Texas State Archives. The letter may rewrite the story of the Battle of San Jacinto. But Cuinn can’t anticipate the political battle in which his discovery will become entangled—and the lengths he’ll go to for the truth. Taylor has already published a sequel to this book called The Antelope Play, with a third volume expected later this year.




Dreaming in RussianDreaming in Russian

By Jaqueline Loss, MA ’95, PhD ’00

As Cuba opens its doors to American tourists, the time is ripe for a book about an often-ignored aspect of history: the island’s deep ties to the Soviet Union, which had a strong presence in Cuba for decades. Loss, a professor of Latin American studies at the University of Connecticut, explores the many ways Cubans are still “dreaming in Russian.”





Maximilian and CarlotaMaximilian and Carlota: Europe’s Last Empire in Mexico

By M. M. McAllen, BA ’85, Life Member

World history is most engrossing when read not as a litany of dates, battles, and lineages, but as a drama of real people living messy, interesting lives, and McAllen does just that in Maximilian and Carlota. Maximilian von Habsburg and his wife, Carlota, were installed as the emperor and empress of Mexico 150 years ago, and their surprising story has rarely been told until now.





DestinyatCalfKilleRiverDestiny at Calf Killer River

By Tom Meinecke, BBA ’62, Life Member

The arrival of a mysterious letter portends a shake-up in the life of Jim Templeton, a Houston man who lost his wife in an unsolved murder two years before the start of the novel. Soon Templeton is drawn into a strange tale that involves a treasure map, a silver mine, a beautiful long-lost relative, and more than one additional unsolved murder case.





MercilessEdenMerciless Eden

By Doug Tims, BBA ’69, Life Member

Author Tims owns a homestead called Campbell’s Ferry Ranch along Idaho’s Main Salmon River. This book traces the history of the site, including Indian wars, gold mines, and river rafting. Tims has dug up many primary sources that bring the story alive. The story of the ranch gives readers a broader picture of conservation and wildlife in the U.S.





HereIAmAbrahamLegacyHere I Am: The Abraham Legacy

By Betty Pack

Military novels tend to focus more closely on the soldier’s experience than those of the family and friends left at home. In this contemplative book, Pack sheds light on those often-forgotten stories, writing about several people who are parents and relatives of young men at war. Set in a Texas-Mexico border town at the beginning of the Gulf War, the book will hit home for any military family member.





Spence_jacket-8-3-13.inddThe 10 Essential Hugs of Life

By Roy Spence, BA ’71, Life Member

Roy Spence, the CEO and co-founder of Austin advertising powerhouse GSD&M, says he comes from a family of huggers. While grieving the loss of his father, Spence remembered his dad’s signature bear hugs, and soon began thinking of hugs not just as a physical act, but also a mental and emotional term for showing kindness to others and oneself. The result is this short book reminding readers to “hug” their fears, their faith, and even their selves.



Death, Taxes, and Green Tea Ice CreamDeath, Taxes, and Green Tea Ice Cream

By Diane Kelly, BBA ’88, JD ’90

Accountant-turned-author Diane Kelly continues to make us smile with the sixth volume in her tongue-in-cheek “Death and Taxes” series, making accounting sexy since 2011. The book opens as heroine Tara Holloway, the IRS special agent who fights crime, finds herself at the nadir of her career. Luckily, the only place to go is up, and that’s exactly what happens in this rollicking adventure.






KEEPITSIMPLESTUPID.inddKeep it Simple Stupid: How to Protect Your Finances from Wall Street and Yourself

By R. Timothy Curran, BA ’90, Life Member

This short, readable guide to personal finance advises readers on topics including choosing the right financial advisor, avoiding conflicts of interest, and formulating an asset allocation plan. Curran draws on his dual experience as an attorney and certified financial planner to write in plain English and give tips that are easy to take to heart.